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Welcome Corps: How ECBOs Will Play Critical Roles in This New Initiative

This webinar is presented by Switchboard, a one-stop shop for refugee service providers in the United States. Learn more about Switchboard at Hosted on August 30, 2023 the training was delivered by Esmeralda Hoscoy, Associate Director of Support and Oversight at the Community Sponsorship Hub; Basma Alawee, Director of External Affairs at the Community Sponsorship Hub; Aubrey Grant, Program Manager of Practice and Research at the Community Sponsorship Hub; and, Nao Kabashima, the co-founder and Executive Director of the Karen Organization of San Diego (KOSD), a partner of Switchboard The Welcome Corps is a new program of the U.S. Department of State that aims to equip and empower Americans to welcome refugees and help them thrive, thereby strengthening our communities. A consortium of organizations with expertise in refugee resettlement, protection, and welcome supports the groups of volunteers who sponsor refugees through the Welcome Corps.

This consortium is led by the Community Sponsorship Hub and includes partners such as the Refugee Welcome Collective, Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services (IRIS), the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP), the International Rescue Committee (IRC), and Welcome.US. This webinar will address how ethnic-community based organizations (ECBOs) can work together with Welcome Corps to grow the role of communities in the protection and integration of refugees and other forcibly displaced people, including linking Welcome Corps clients to appropriate ORR programs and services and responding to questions from the community on this initiative. It will also address the roles and responsibilities of ECBOs in relation to Welcome Corps, including maintaining appropriate programmatic boundaries. Several leaders from the Community Sponsorship Hub and an ECBO founder will provide an in-depth explanation of Welcome Corps’ objectives, describe the potential role of ECBOs to partner with this initiative, and discuss comments and concerns shared by ECBO leaders.

After participating in this 90-minute session, you will be able to:
● Explain the Welcome Corps sponsorship program to other interested parties;
● Answer questions from the community about the process for forming a Private Sponsorship Group (PSG) or Private Sponsor Organization (PSO);
● Describe ECBO roles and responsibilities in relation to Welcome Corps, including maintaining boundaries and linking Welcome Corps clients to ORR resources; and
● Identify at least one way that ECBOs can potentially partner with the Welcome Corps initiative.